Families occupy thoughts of Dengkil Rehab residents during Aidilfitri

Families occupy thoughts of Dengkil Rehab residents during Aidilfitri

KUALA LUMPUR: The one thing that 36-year-old Bob, a resident of the Narcotic Addiction Rehabilitation Centre (Puspen) in Dengkil near here, misses most during Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations is not ketupat, rendang, or lemang, but a fried rice dish made by his ex-wife.

The last time Bob (not his real name) tasted the dish was before he was arrested by the National Anti-Drugs Agency (NADA) on the seventh day of Hari Raya last year, due to the drug habit he developed since he was 17.

“Although we just got divorced a month ago, our relationship is still good. I love her cooking. Her fried rice dish is tastier than my mother’s. Even though it is a simple dish, I love to have it daily, including during Aidilfitri, “ he told Bernama, adding that it was his all-time favourite dish.

Having stayed at the centre for 11 months, Bob also expressed his longing and hoped to see his two daughters, aged six and seven, again.

“Last year, I still was able to fulfil their requests, but things are so different this year, and I haven’t had the opportunity to meet them.

“Moreover, I decided not to tell them the real situation. Let them think that I had to go far away to work,” the former technician from Pasir Mas, Kelantan said.

He expressed his regret over his past actions, and said that PUSPEN had taught him to become a strong person and to always strive to be a more religious person.

“I plan to go back to my hometown and spend time with my parents after my release. It has been almost four years since I did not go back to my hometown.

“My mother is the closest person to me and my main supporter, who always hoped that I would turn over a new leaf,” he said.

Voicing the same sentiment, 50-year-old Kak Ida (not her real name) expressed her hope to meet and spend time with all her family members, including her four children.

She said her most unforgettable memories were of when she and her family celebrated Aidilfitri with matching traditional outfits.

“I miss being together and making jam tarts with them. Even though I do cookies with other residents, the feeling isn’t the same when it comes to family,” she said, adding that she had voluntarily entered rehabilitation under NADA last year determined to change her life, and considered herself lucky that her family still accepted her knowing that she had spent 30 years being involved in drug abuse.

“I used to stay away from my family, especially my children, because I was ashamed of my neglected state. However, they took the effort to locate and persuade me to come back home.

That’s why I’m here seeking treatment as I want to change my life,” she said.

Another resident, who wished to be known only as Aman, 27, admitted that he missed his family and hoped that he could ask his mother to forgive him this Aidilfitri.

“Ketika dalam tempoh ketagihan dadah, saya menjadi seorang cepat marah apabila ditegur. Malah, ibu sering menjadi mangsa maki hamun saya.

However, till today, Aman has not had the opportunity to meet his mother since he was caught by the authorities and brought to PUSPEN 11 months ago.

“When I was addicted, I lost my temper easily when reprimanded. Even my mother became a target of my anger.

“I miss my mother and would like to seek forgiveness from her. I also miss her cooking, especially her rendang,” he said, adding he was grateful to have been sent to PUSPEN for rehabilitation.-Bernama